Mr. Massoud Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance, said: Habibi's resignation, only six months after Khatami took office, bespeaks of the fear, despair and demoralization of the highest officials of the clerical regime and is reminiscent of the resignation and flight of the shah's generals in the final stages of the monarchic dictatorship.
Habibi's decision to abandon ship follows the resignation of Mohsen Rezaii, the Revolutionary Guards'commander in chief. It further confirms that the power struggle within the regime, having reached new heights in recent months, has become an irreversible trend.
A few weeks ago, Ali Khamenei, the mullahs' leader, compared the state of the regime with the final days of Ceausescu in Romania, warning that every thing could be destroyed.
Habibi has been one of the regime's top officials in the past 18 years, serving nine consecutive years as first vice president. Before Rafsanjani's presidency, Habibi was the Minister of Justice and one of the officials responsible for the massacre of 15,000 prisoners in summer 1988. The spokesman for the "Revolutionary Council" in 1979, he was subsequently appointed as Khomeini's representative to the "Council of Cultural Revolution." In this capacity, he was one of the main officials ordering the brutal repression of university students in the 1980's.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 1, 1998